MultiLing Babylab ready for its first participants in January 2020

In 2018, MultiLing opened its Socio-cognitive Laboratory, which allowed for many new and exciting research projects to be carried out. In January 2020, a new branch of the lab, the Babylab, will be ready to receive its first participant visits.

A baby sits on their mother's lap and looks at a screen in the MultiLing Babylab. Eye-tracking equipment is being used.
When babies or young children and their carers visit the lab, they are together the whole time.

Why a Babylab?

In the Babylab, researchers seek answers to the influence of multilingualism and multiculturalism on infant and child development. In order to investigate such questions, they compare the perception and learning of babies from diverse language and cultural backgrounds. The participants, the babies, are presented with native or non-native stimuli and the researchers explore the similarities and differences in their responses before and after conditioning.

To explore fundamental questions that tap into the early language and cognitive development of young humans, researchers use a wide range of techniques in the Babylab. Methods such as conditional headturn, eye-tracking, and neurophysiological measures are non-invasive, safe and friendly to the young participants, while still adding to our knowledge about multilingualism and multiculturalism related to infants and children. 

Projects

The Babylab will, in time, host many rewarding projects. Currently, there are two fun research projects being conducted, for which we are recruiting participants. Children participating in the studies should be between 0-18 months of age.

The first project is called LearningTone, and the goal is to study if babies from all around the world are sensitive to Cantonese tones. The babies participating will be hearing Cantonese in the lab.

The second project is called MultiPic. Here, the goal is to study whether or not babies are sensitive to facial expressions across world cultures. The babies participating will be seeing videos of Norwegian and Japanese mothers’ emotional expressions, and their reactions will be recorded for analyses.

Participation

When babies or young children and their carers visit the lab, they are together the whole time. The carer will be asked to fill in some forms regarding the child's background, and then the child will participate in one or two studies – always sitting with the carer. Participation in the above-mentioned studies will take around five minutes per study, and we are always flexible with regards to resting time between the studies.

Participation is voluntary, and the carer will receive detailed information about the visit beforehand. Overall, a visit to the Babylab will take around 20-40 minutes, and at the end of the visit, the child will be awarded a Babylab certificate!

Contact information

The researches currently involved in the Babylab projects are Postdoctoral Fellow Liquan Liu and student Anne Karin Gisvold. If you would like to know more about the Babylab, the research projects, or if you would like to plan a visit in 2020, please contact them via e-mail.

Published Dec. 19, 2019 12:02 PM - Last modified Jan. 20, 2020 2:35 PM